May – Teacher of the Month
ACMF Music Teacher, Brad Bergen at Soldier’s Settlement School Matraville where he runs the school Rock Band (recently featured on the ABC National News).
Brad is a professional drummer, guitarist and vocalist who’s one of the most sought after players on the Australian Country Music scene. Born into a musical family, he’s been playing drums since the age of three when his parents discovered him out in the backyard, two twigs in hand, sitting on a stool made from a turned over paint tin, and three tin cable reels set up in front of him for drums.
He won his first talent contest at age four playing ‘Running Bear’ on his new Dolphin 34 drum kit with his Dad accompanying him on guitar/vocal, started playing professionally at age nine, and has since gone on to tour both nationally and internationally with a Who’s Who of the country music scene. He’s also an in-demand session muso, as well as a well-respected music producer who runs his own studio. Among the many artists whose records he’s produced is the recent debut album for Angus Gill, the 2011 winner of the ACMF National Songwriting Competition! Small world.
Brad teaches for the ACMF at two juvenile justice centres in Sydney, Reiby and Cobham, where he teaches guitar, drums and singing, and at Soldier’s Settlement School Matraville where he runs the school Rock Band (recently featured on the ABC National News).
He’s just started up our newest ACMF school music program at Banksmeadow Public School in Sydney’s South West with his wife Tamara Stewart (Golden Guitar winning singer/songwriter/guitarist). Between them, Brad and Tamara are teaching singing, choir, songwriting, percussion and other instruments to years K to 3.
Brad has had an enormous impact on the students he teaches. One of his young students was so shy the first time he came to one of his music classes, he hid in a cupboard. Now this same boy not only plays with great flair and confidence, but has spoken and performed at his school assembly.
Brad is very proud to be part of the ACMF musical family. He says, ‘Seeing how music can change lives is incredibly inspiring”